The Creators of LA: Record Producer Paul Beahan
For the last 10 months, self-taught photographer Megan McIsaac has been traveling the West Coast in an RV — a 1977 Toyota “Dolphin” — and gathering portraits of friends and creative types she met along the way. Now settled in Los Angeles with a Mamiya c330 camera, McIsaac decided to document the community that’s inspired so much of her work: Tumblr. This is part of a series of photographic profiles.
Warpaint, Bat for Lashes, Heliotropes, Chains of Love, Papercranes … It was easy to stumble upon Manimal Vinyl, the record label behind these musicians and about 15 others that I love. I was excited to discover that Manimal — launched by fashion stylist Paul Beahan in 2006 — is based here in LA, and that it’s still basically a one-man show. I met up with Beahan at his home office in West LA, where I was excited to find a world of vinyl, art-covered walls. and his family by his side.
What’s your daily routine like?
I am usually up at 7am to get my 5-year-old ready for school, and when that is over I start the day with calls back and forth with my coworkers in Europe. Then at about 11am, the calls from New York begin. I work with a few people in Australia and Singapore, so those calls or emails start at about 7pm. So basically I work all day long. In between the calls it’s listening to new music, writing, emailing, guiding new acts signed to the label, and taking an hour or two away from the desk to read and play with my children.
Do you manage to eat?
Breakfast consists of strong black coffee and a cigarette. Lunch is whatever I can cram into my suck hole, and I honestly skip dinner most of the time.
Many of the artists you represent use nostalgia as a part of their appeal. Is this something you seek out?
Not really. I definitely feel that some things are easier to digest when there is some sort of familiarity with the music. I like the idea of being a forward-thinking person, but today it’s nearly impossible to have any music sound completely timeless.
How do you think the role of a record label has changed, now with platforms such as Bandcamp and Soundcloud?
I don’t think the role of a good record label has changed much. There is only so much a band or an artist can do on their own before the work becomes overwhelming. A label should be a home and a family, that is usually impossible with a souless Internet page. Soundcloud and Bandcamp are amazing though, I have found a lot of great talents on those sites.
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